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Full text of "Rapid Population Growth Consequences And Policy Implications"

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character, experimentation is feasible. But if this experimentation is to be useful, a great deal of attention needs to be paid to realistic evaluation of the results of policies and programs.
Policy Coordination
It is tempting to suggest that population policies are so important, fundamental, and far-reaching that they should be the province of a special ministry of population at the cabinet level within national governments. But the essence of population problems is their pervasive character. Population-responsive policies to deal with the effects of rapid population growth must be part of the responsibility of the ministries that deal with education, health, agriculture, urbanization, transportation, labor, housing, welfare, and even finance and defense. All these ministries need a sophisticated understanding of the ways in which population changes affect their areas of concern.
Similarly, government actions to reduce fertility can be expected to be most successful only if several kinds of population-influencing policies in education, health services, public law, food and nutrition, biological and social research, and social security are brought to bear simultaneously. This calls for coordinated planning and action by many different arms of government. The seat of coordination should be in the jurisdictionally neutral but administratively powerful unit of government that sets priorities in the light of politically established goals. In some countries this will be the planning commission; in others, the executive office of the president or prime minister; in others, a presidential council or commission. The burden of the coordinating task is to ensure that executive agencies with different primary missions manage their affairs through multi-objective population-influencing policies of the kind we have described so as to maximize their contribution to the national goal of fertility reduction.
Administration and Personnel for Population-Influencing Policies
This "systems approach" to population policy requires extensive training of managers, recasting of budgets, development of an international network for exchanging information and ideas, creation of professional standards and career opportunities for population planners and administrators, and organization and funding of many different kinds of research.
As in all fields of government action, population-influencing policies call for the allocation of scarce resources and the setting of priorities. The scarcest resources in most less developed countries are competent administrators, particularly at the lower levels and the front lines of action. Immediate priority is likely to be given to policies and programs that can be combined with other ongoing activities and do not call for the creation of new administrative services: for example, provision of family planning services through existing